09/04/15 1:26pm


Dignitaries, corporate leaders, and politicians hand out
backpacks to preschool students in need on first day of school

The Child & Family Network Centers (CFNC), an Alexandria-based network of free, high-quality bi-lingual preschools that provide low-income children with the tools they need to succeed in school and in life, will provide backpacks to underprivileged children on Tuesday, September 8, 2015. Alexandria City Mayor Bill Euille, Alexandria City Vice Mayor Allison Silberberg, Alexandria Undersheriff Tim Gleeson, Alexandria Fire Chief Robert C. Dubé and Alexandria City Chief of Police Earl Cook along with local business executives will hand out 150 backpacks filled with school supplies to preschool-aged children on the first day of school at CFNC’s headquarters located at 3700 Wheeler Avenue in Alexandria, VA from 9:15 AM to 9:30 AM.

CFNC ensures that children of the working poor have access to preschool so that they start elementary school on par with their classmates. “It costs CFNC $ 10,000 to provide a preschool education for one year for one at-risk child. We are extremely grateful for the $3,000 in funding we receive per child from the Virginia Preschool Initiative and can’t thank the individuals, foundations and corporations who help us fill that $7,000 gap in funding per child each year enough,” said Lissette Bishins, CEO of The Child & Family Network Centers. “We are also very grateful for the support of the City of Alexandria, the Alexandria City Public Schools, and the community in general who have come together to support early childhood education for low-income families in Alexandria.”

The Virginia Preschool Initiative (VPI) is the state preschool program for at-risk four year-olds who are not served by the federal Head Start preschool program. VPI has a proven track record of success. Students who participate in VPI are more likely to be prepared for kindergarten than their peers who did not attend preschool. Students who participate in VPI are the least likely to need additional literacy intervention when they enter school compared to students from other preschool programs or students who did not attend preschool.

Alexandria is one of seven Virginia localities where private providers partner with the school system and other local departments to offer VPI to at-risk students. State legislators are currently reviewing policy proposals to encourage the involvement of private providers throughout the state. Alexandria has a long history of partnering with the private sector to provide preschool experiences. Over half of the VPI students in Alexandria are enrolled in privately operated centers. The bulk of which attend CFNC.

CFNC wishes to thank our corporate sponsors for making this event possible. Columbia Capital, LCOR, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, Cotton & Company, American Advertising Distributors of Northern Virginia, Kaiser Permanente, Cypress International,Dominion Power, In-Kindness, and Regulatory Economics Group.

09/04/15 11:53am


Performance in Math & Writing Improves, Reading Steady

Virginia public school graduates in 2015 continued to buck a multiyear, nationwide trend of lower achievement on the SAT college-admissions test by posting gains in mathematics and writing while maintaining their performance level in reading.

The College Board, which publishes the SAT, reported today that the average scores for public school graduates in the commonwealth rose by one point in mathematics, by two points in writing and held steady in reading. Nationwide, achievement declined in all three subjects on the SAT.

Sixty-eight percent of Virginia’s 2015 public school graduates took the SAT, which is, by far, the predominant admissions test in Virginia, and therefore is a key indicator of the effectiveness of schools in preparing students for the first year of college.

“More important than a one-year change is the long-term trend,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Steven R. Staples said. “The performance of Virginia students on the SAT during the last five years provides additional evidence that the efforts of teachers and other educators to help students meet Virginia’s high expectations are producing real gains in learning and achievement.”


09/04/15 11:32am

pedestrian_auto_accident_01_blue_300The victim of yesterday’s fatal pedestrian crash has been identified as Deborah Ann Bogart, 60, of Alexandria.

The vehicle and driver involved in this incident have been identified.

Anyone who was in the area between 9:00 AM and 9:30 AM yesterday morning and witnessed anything unusual or who has any information related to this incident is asked to call Investigator Barrett 703.746.6873.

09/04/15 11:21am


Donors Choose is a program through which teachers can raise funds through the community for programs or classroom supplies. I saw a segment about Donors Choose on NBC Nightly News this past week. One teacher has raised tens of thousands of dollars for her classroom over the past few years.

ACPS currently has dozens of classrooms requesting funding on Donors Choose.org. Click on the link and find your child’s class project. If that is funded, please consider choosing another. I helped get my son’s teachers project at Lyles Crouch Traditional Academy fully funded. I have given back, will you? Please consider donating if you can.

This Back-to-School fundraising blitz is being coordinated with local businesses, local government, local media as well as PTAs and school newsletters to raise awareness that dozens of ACPS classrooms registered online are in need of the community’s support.

This Back to School Blitz has no deadline.  The school system and local PTAs are just trying to really raise awareness over the first two weeks of school so that we can help teachers get their project fully funded and then move on. The more we raise awareness about this effort and to pass on to others in our community, the better all of our teachers will be funded.

09/04/15 7:48am

Here’s the latest Alexandria Virginia crime report. These are incidents reported by the Alexandria Police Department and published in the weekly Washington Post Alexandria/Arlington Extra.

REMINDER: You can track these crimes yourself using the new RAIDSOnline.com database. You can also view the crime map 24/7 through this link.


09/04/15 6:29am

Bill Euille
As promised, Alexandria, Virginia Mayor Bill Euille will be making his long-awaited announcement on whether or not he will actively seek the write-in vote for Mayor at 3:00 PM on Sunday, September 6th at Waterfront Park.

Multiple sources have CONFIRMED to me that Mayor Euille will be announcing he will actively seek the write-in vote for Mayor on November 3, 2015. Mayor Euille has told me on several occasions that he wanted to make sure there was a strong groundswell of support before committing to a run at November.

Looks like he may have that groundswell of support.

My sources tell me a growing group of residents began meeting shortly after the primary election and have provided infrastructure to the campaign. Two of the sources I spoke to said that those residents organized as they strongly believe that Mayor Euille and Kerry Donley split the vote in the primary of those in favor of swift commercial development. This was mentioned as the chief reason for organizing the effort from all three.

I am also told from my sources that Securing Alexandria’s Future, a local PAC that recently reformed, will play a part in the write-in effort.

Longtime residents reading this may remember that former Mayor Frank Mann won a write-in campaign in Alexandria in 1961 as did retired Congressman Jim Moran who ran for Mayor of Alexandria in 1985 as an Independent. His write-in campaign challenged the Democratic nominee Charles Beatley and Congressman Moran was able to defeat Mr. Beatley.

How will this affect Mayor Euille’s status in the Alexandria Democratic Committee (ADC)? When Congressman Moran launched his write-in campaign bid he was thrown out of the ADC only to be welcomed back into the fold after he won. I have asked the Mayor about this potential battle with the ADC over the last month and he has said this is a fight he is ready for.

So, as the old saying goes, more to come…

(Image via Bill Euille on Facebook)

09/03/15 4:38pm

The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a fatal hit and run at the intersection of Braddock Road and Commonwealth Avenue. Sometime around 9:20 AM an unknown vehicle struck and killed a female pedestrian victim.

The victim has been identified and her name will not be released until family members have been notified.

The vehicle and driver involved in this incident have been identified. There is no further information available at this time.

Anyone who was in the area between 9:00 AM and 9:30 AM this morning and witnessed anything unusual or who has any information related to this incident is asked to call Investigator Barrett 703.746.6873.

(Photo via APD on Twitter)